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The Circular Economy

Eleanor Hubble
7 September 2017

Circular Economy Model

The METaL Team were up bright and early on Wednesday 9th August to welcome the first eager attendees to the taster session on 'The Circular Economy'.

A new concept for 2017, the taster sessions were born out of a desire to expand our offering to industry. The METaL Project understand that not everyone can commit to a three-day course, so these shorter sessions seemed like the perfect solution, enabling attendees to learn more about METaL and our courses, whilst only taking an hour out of their working day.

The talk was held on Swansea University's Bay Campus, in the Active Classroom, a facility which was developed and built by the SPECIFIC project. As a building which generates and stores its own power, it seemed an appropriate location to hold a session on sustainability!

Over coffee and bacon rolls, our attendees had the opportunity to network. There was a wide range of industries present, from medicine to manufacturing. Regardless of their particular sector, each attendee shared the common goal of gaining a deeper understanding of 'The Circular Economy'.

We were lucky enough to welcome Rhys Charles as our guest speaker. Rhys has a background in chemistry, materials engineering and waste management, and is currently a technology transfer fellow with the SPECIFIC Project. Rhys's work focuses on enhancing resource-efficiency through recovery of critical metals from waste electronics, including industrial symbiosis processes to generate critical raw materials (CRMs) for photovoltaics. More recently Rhys has been developing projects to enhance resource-efficiency for UK industry, and establish circular economy around off-grid solar systems in rural-Africa.

Following Rhys's fascinating talk, he fielded questions from the audience. It was clear from the number and complexity of the questions, that the presentation had piqued the interested of the attendees. 

Further networking and discussion followed, before it was time for many of the group to leave for work. Feedback from the sessions was encouraging, with many attendees expressing a real interest in the subject matter, and a frustration that the circular economy model is not being implemented quickly enough across industry.

The METaL Project would like to thank Rhys Charles for a great session, and our guests for their attendance. Future events for Autumn 2017 focus on 'Additive Manufacturing', and 'Sustainable Smart Buildings'.

To learn more about 'The Circluar Economy', see the following articles:

What is a Circular Economy?

The Guardian Sustainable Business News